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Rabbi Speaks Out After Poway Synagogue Shooting; Interview with Mayor Steve Vaus about Synagogue Shooting; One of Five Men Trapped in Virginia Cave Rescued. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired April 28, 2019 - 18:00   ET


[18:00:38] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for being here. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

And just one day after a gunman shot him inside the synagogue he founded, the rabbi of Congregation Chabad is talking and with defiant passion. His right index finger is gone. The left one may not be able to be saved. However, the pain Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein described had nothing to do with his injuries but from seeing his dear friend Lori Gilbert Kaye gunned down. He says she is a pioneering member of their congregation. This congregation is north of San Diego. The 60- year-old woman jumped between Rabbi Goldstein and the shooter yesterday. The rabbi says his missing finger will be his reminder of the heroism of Kaye and others.


RABBI YISROEL GOLDSTEIN, FOUNDER, CONGREGATION CHABAD: I walk two, three footsteps when I hear a loud bang. I thought Lori may have fell or the table tipped over in the lobby right here. I turn around. And I see a sight that I -- undescribable. Here is a young man standing with a rifle pointing right at me. And I look at him, he had sunglasses on, I couldn't see his eyes, I couldn't see his soul. I froze.

My first concern was what's with Lori? Where did that noise come from? What's happened to Lori? And as soon as I did that, I took a look, and more shots came running right at me. And I lifted up my hands. I lost my index finger on this hand. After four hours of surgery yesterday trying to save the index finger on the left hand. I turn around and I saw the children that were playing in the banquet hall.

I ran to gather them together. My granddaughter 4 1/2 years old sees her grandpa with a bleeding hand and she sees me screaming and shouting, get out, get out. She didn't deserve to see her grandfather like this.

I ushered all the children out. Mr. Almog, Israeli war veteran, who's only too familiar with these types of scenes, ran into the banquet hall, gathered more children. He got a bullet in his leg risking himself to save the children. And little Noya Dahan was hit by shrapnel in her leg and very close to her eye and thank God Almog is well and Noya has been discharged from the hospital and they are in recovery. Miraculously, just miraculously, the gun jammed. Lori took the bullet

for all of us. She died to protect all of us. She didn't deserve to die. She's such a kind, sweet-hearted, just a good human being. She didn't deserve to die right in front of my eyes. I was the last one to see her and to be with her, but I do know that this is Lori. This is her legacy. And her legacy will continue.


CABRERA: Rabbi Goldstein was among the three people wounded when a suspected white supremacist opened fire inside the temple of Poway, California.

The 19-year-old suspect is in custody and so many new details emerging today how people helped each other and just how young one of the survivors is.

CNN's Sara Sidner is joining us now. And Sara, you spoke with that 8- year-old girl who was hit by shrapnel. Tell us her story.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So we spoke to her family. Her father was inside as all of this was happening, as the gunshots started coming over and over and over again. We spoke with him. He talked about the terror and what it felt like inside. He talked about the fact that the first thought in his mind was trying to figure out where his children were and by the time he got to him, his daughter had already been hit both in the face with shrapnel and in the leg.

We sat down with this adorable, very smart, very, very thoughtful little girl who was able to tell us what that was like the moment she was hit.


[18:05:03] NOYA DAYAN, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: My uncle, he was holding my hand. And he was, like, grabbing me and stuff. And the person who was shooting, he was aiming at him. So he -- it hit him and went like that, it hit me, too.

SIDNER: So you got hit with shrapnel.


SIDNER: Little pieces.

DAYAN: No, like one is pretty big but these were little pieces. So, look, so this was like a pretty big piece. Then it went back here.

SIDNER: So the piece of shrapnel went in your leg then came out the other side?


SIDNER: What were you thinking then? Did it hurt?

DAYAN: In the first place, when it was, like, gushing blood, I didn't even feel it and then after, like, they wiped it and, like, the blood was off and it was, like -- it felt like I had the giantest bruise ever. It was just hurting bad.


SIDNER: Eight-year-old Noya Dahan there talking about her experience. She is so wise. She talked about the fact that nobody she thinks should be doing anything like this to each other, that we are all the same. That we may pray to different gods. That we may have different thoughts. But that everyone is a human being. She said that over and over.

What struck me so much as I talked to her is that she was very clear in saying that she no longer felt safe and that she would probably spend her life always looking over her shoulder. That coming from an 8-year-old was really hard to take.

And I should also mention one more thing, her father, Israel Dahan, said something similar to what the rabbi said. He said that he heard the gun lock. He heard the gun have a malfunction, as he put it, and he believes that that was the reason why many more people are not dead or injured -- Ana.

CABRERA: Just incredible. Sara Sidner, thank you for sharing all of that.

And joining us now is Julian Zelizer, he is a CNN political analyst and Princeton University professor of history and public affairs. Brian Levin is the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. And CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem, former Homeland Security official during the Obama administration.

Brian, we heard from the mayor yesterday when I spoke to him telling us the lowest crime rate there in Poway of any city in San Diego County. And he talked about how you really have this culture of being very open to different faiths there, which made this attack that much more shocking. What can you tell us about hate crimes in this part of the country?

BRIAN LEVIN, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF HATE AND EXTREMISM: Sure. And first of all, our hearts go out to the congregation, the victim's family and Rabbi Goldstein as well on this horrible atrocity. You know, San Diego, interestingly enough, is a little different than some of the other cities that we looked at. Now this is in the county part of San Diego, but last year for hate crime, it was flat for San Diego when other cities in California like Los Angeles and San Francisco hit decade highs.

And indeed, in San Diego, religion was the third most calmest San Diego City now, which is just outside of Poway. Religion was the third most frequent basis for hate crime in San Diego City, but for California, we're looking at a fourth consecutive year of increases. We had just under 1100 hate crimes last year. Increase in anti- Semitism, increase in cases involving houses of worship here in California. California, we also have the highest number of hate groups in the

country. So it's a bit of a mixed bag. Interestingly enough, also, San Diego did not appear to take part in something that we saw last year which was around election time, a significant spike. And a lot of other cities like Boston, Philly, New York, and L.A., we saw big spike around election time, also in 2016. Didn't see that in San Diego last year.

CABRERA: Interesting. And unfortunately, so many people around the country have been impacted by hate crimes and it has been an issue that's on the rise.

Julian, first of all, my condolences to you, your community. I know this impacts you as a member of the Jewish community in a very deep way. But you've spent time researching and writing about the long history of anti-Semitism in this country. Put this moment into perspective for us.

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, we had a period in the early 20th century through the 1930s where there was a lot of anti- Semitism. It was open. It was very public. It was often violent. And then there was a moment when it subsides. It's more on the margins. It's still there, but until the 1980s and '90s it's not front and center. And we seem to be in a moment in the last decade or so where it's on the rise, both in terms of what you see in the public, in terms of anti-Semitic rhetoric and images but more importantly right now is actual violent attacks combined with vandalism.

[18:10:09] So this is a moment unfortunately of anti-Semitic renewal and it's tied to other forms of hate crimes that are all happening together.

CABRERA: Let's take a little bit bigger picture look because we have recent FBI reporting and stats showing hate crimes rose 17 percent between 2016 and 2017 is the latest information we have. Anti-Jewish hate crimes in particular rose 37 percent over that same period.

Juliette, talk to us about the rise we're seeing in hate crimes overall and what impact do the online forums and social media have on all this.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, the impact that these online forums have as we're actually seeing in this case is that men, in particular, young men who had no criminal background, from what we know right now, he had no interactions with law enforcement, he comes from a religious family, he's a nurse, you know, they become radicalized. He sort of starts to adhere to Hitler and you start to see on some of these platforms as I follow them just a cesspool of hatred and it's often focused on the Jewish community as being, you know, leaders, financial leaders, you know, being responsible for bad things happening for immigration crisis, for other things going on, not just in the United States but in the world.

That then gets amplified because, you know, sitting alone in your room all of a sudden you have a like-kinded hatred. It does not to say that everyone gets a gun and walks into a synagogue, but it's to say it gives them a sense of comfort. You amplify the sort of social networking alone in your room with the public discourse today, which is as we now -- you know, as we know is more inflamed, more divisive, more -- more accepting of hatred in a way that, you know, we sit here and we sort of parse whether our leaders actually are condemning things.

Well, when you're parsing it, it means that it's not fully being condemned. When you have to parse whether someone said the right thing, and so, you know, I just sort of sit here and urging, we should -- there should be no parsing, right? It should be unconditional condemnation from every leader in the United States. And those two factors have contributed in the last couple of years to this.

It's not a rise. It's a spike. When you get to 16 percent or 17 percent on a particular crime, that is a Homeland Security spike. And it is -- it doesn't seem to be stopping as we've seen.

CABRERA: And so that brings me --


LEVIN: Can I suggest one quick point?


LEVIN: I'm sorry. No, I'm sorry, Julian. No, please.

CABRERA: Please go ahead.

LEVIN: I think she made an excellent point. Now we also had a 6 percent increase in the number of agencies in 2017. When we looked at our city study, we found about 12 percent and when you look for per capita, it was still an 11 percent increase and our latest study, 2018 data, you're hearing it here first, 30 of the largest American cities, we saw another year, this is on top of those FBI increases that you just spoke, the latest municipal data we have, a fifth consecutive year for these cities, if that portends with the FBI data. That will be a fourth year when they come out in November.

And anti-Semitic attacks rose over 9 percent in 10 of the cities we looked at and in 14 of the cities we looked at, in five of them, Jews were in the top three. So it looks like 2018, and you heard it here first, 2018 will be probably another rise for hate crime in the United States and most probably another rise for anti-Semitic hate crimes certainly in America's largest cities, we've seen an increase of about 9 percent.

CABRERA: Wow. Julian, you come from a family of three generations of rabbis.


CABRERA: And each of those generations have had to confront and figure out a way to deal with the same threat. We can't move forward. What do you make of this? ZELIZER: No, it's one of the enduring human rights crises in world

history and in the United States. And anti-Semitism is a scourge that never goes away. I've seen it over the generations in different incarnations, but when it manifests itself in violence like this, it's at a different level. One person said to me, you know, I said wasn't it always beneath the surface, this kind of anti-Semitism? And this rabbi said, well, it's better beneath the surface than what we're seeing now.


ZELIZER: And it's what we're seeing now that I think is frightening. I would add, there's an organizational basis of this. There are white supremacist organizations throughout the country. There's been moments like the '90s when the government goes after them and tries to really crack down on what they're doing. And I think that's an area of policy that really needs to be revisited now in terms of what the federal authorities are doing.


ZELIZER: Not just in social media, but with these groups that are promoting this and actually kind of creating the manpower, quote- unquote, for these kinds of attacks and violence.

[18:15:05] CABRERA: Quickly, please, Juliette --

KAYYEM: Ana, can I add --


KAYYEM: Just so, you know, I come from the world of counterterrorism and I view this as a form of terrorism. White supremacy is a form of terrorism. So how do ideologies die? They actually don't die. They get shamed. In other words, it becomes impossible for people of -- you know, who want to be part of society to believe in that. So Nazism did not die. It just essentially, you know, elements held onto it. Smell elements held onto it. But people did not adhere to it publicly.

The problem we have in the United States, and this is what's so shocking to me, whether it's in Virginia, in Charlottesville, or in Washington, D.C., politics in prose yesterday, these men, these white supremacists are not hiding. They are not covered anymore.


KAYYEM: They feel no shame. And that is where I think the public discourse has to be much more forceful in shaming these people because they seem to not care that we know that they're racist and that means the ideology is getting accepted in the political and the social space in ways that then lead to the kind of violence that we've seen.

I want these people to be back in hoods. Honestly, I want them to be shamed, to be hidden, and now they're just out there rallying. Yes.


KAYYEM: So that's -- that's something to think about the ideology.

CABRERA: For sure. Juliette Kayyem, Brian Levin, and Julian Zelizer, thank you, all. I really appreciate the conversation.

Let's go back to CNN's Sara Sidner in Poway, California, with the mayor of Poway, Steve Vaus -- Sara.

SIDNER: Yes, we're here with Mayor Steve Vaus. You were just there listening to Rabbi Goldstein and you said something poignant about listening to him and what his message was. What was his message? What did you take away from him?

MAYOR STEVE VAUS, POWAY, CALIFORNIA: As he spoke, I couldn't help but think that that was a sermon for the nation right there. We need to do more to see these people earlier. He asked that we bring back a moment of silence in school. It was very, very touching. The rabbi, I think, touched a lot of hearts there tonight, and a lot of hearts are reaching out to the Chabad of Poway congregants tonight wanting to put our arms around him.

SIDNER: He talked about -- as he was standing there, he talked about what happened to him. He held up his hands. One of his fingers had to be amputated. His hands were shot up by his gunman but he said we all need to do acts of kindness because only light can remove darkness. You had talked about this community. What is this community doing now to try to help these folks who have been through so much?

VAUS: We're going to do what we always do when we face tragedy. We come together. I've talked several times today about the fact that the times we've had wildfires roar into town, our residents line up with pickup trucks and garden hoses and fight that fire to keep their neighbors safe.

When we have a youngster go missing, people turn out by the hundreds and thousands to help look for them. So we're going to wrap our arms around the Chabad of Poway community. We're going to be there for them. There's going to be a vigil tonight where the rabbi and I will speak and I think the loving up starts now.

SIDNER: When you consider this community, have you been able to talk to any of the other people who have been injured from this community here?

VAUS: I spoke to one gentleman who was injured as he was rescuing children. What a hero. He was just here visiting from Israel. A hero. There's no other way to put it. He put those kids' lives before his own. There were folks inside the sanctuary or inside the banquet hall, that covered their loved ones' bodies with their own to prevent further damage. To risk themselves. That's the greatest act of love and compassion I can imagine.

SIDNER: And we see that over and over and over again. You talked and you listened to the rabbi talking about this could have been much worse. Why did he say that? And what did you hear from him? And what have you learned as the mayor that this could have been much worse had a few things not transpired inside that synagogue?

VAUS: Well, first, you have to go back six months. A few days after the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, myself and the sheriff's department came here, not only memorialized those lives but the sheriff's department gave some training what to do if there's an active shooter. If that training hadn't taken place, more lives would have been lost yesterday. So that was one thing.

Another thing was the courage the people had to rush this gunman when his gun apparently jammed. Chase him out of the place. One able to get a shot off at his car. They did everything right. They did everything right and we're so blessed. I know God was watching over this town. It could have been so much worse.

[18:20:04] SIDNER: Mayor Steve Vaus, we thank you, and we are here with you. Our arms around you as well. Thank you so much.

VAUS: Thank you.

SIDNER: And I'm sorry for what's happened in this community.

Ana, you heard there from the mayor talking about what happened inside that synagogue, and talking about how his community is going to bring the pieces together and wrap their arms around one another no matter what they believe in -- Ana.

CABRERA: Yes. You can really feel the love in that community.

Sara Sidner, thank you for bringing us that.

There's a rescue operation under way right now for several men trapped inside what they're calling the Cyclops Cave in Virginia. Another man has just been freed. We'll have a live report, next.


CABRERA: Breaking news we learned just moments ago, all five men who were trapped in a cave in Southwest Virginia have now been rescued. They had been stuck there since Friday. I want to bring in CNN's Ryan Young.

Ryan, what do we know about the condition of these men?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is great news so far. We're still waiting to figure out from authorities what their exact conditions are. But we do know this. It seems like at least four of the men have been taken to a local hospital but there's one of the cave divers who went to a trauma center. And in fact, they had to use an air rescue helicopter to get him to that trauma center. So it seems like at least one of the men has a worse condition than the others.

And look, they were concerned with hypothermia. We showed the front of that hole where the cave was. It goes down, descends quite far down, in fact. We're told the temperature down there was probably below 50. And some of the men went down there with a T-shirt on Friday.

[18:25:03] So once it became likely it was hard for them to get out of here. They were scared of hypothermia. A 22-year-old was able to free himself from the hole, get some help and maybe call 911 because we know the cell phones did not work down there.

This is a rescue operation where they had a lot of veteran cave divers who were able to go down there. What they were worried about is they wanted to make sure that they could get the men warm, give them some energy, get them fed so they could probably crawl out themselves because they didn't want to put ropes down to that hole because that would be a different kind of operation.

But what we do know right now is after several hours of this operation they've been able to get the men out of that hole. Not sure of conditions just yet. In fact, as we were reading through a news release just earlier, they said that the men had to be transported to the hospital, it would take some time before their names and conditions would be released. So we see that's what they're doing so far. Hopefully we'll get a bigger update a little later on but the good news at this hour, after since being there in Friday, and conditions changing with all that rain and that cold, damp air down there, all the men are free -- Ana.

CABRERA: That is great news. Ryan Young, thank you.

In the wake of yet another apparent hate crime in the United States, Joe Biden is reminding voters about President Trump's response to the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Nearly two years ago. So is that a winning strategy? A senior adviser to his campaign joins us next.


[18:30:29] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Joe Biden came out with his dukes up when he announced his presidential campaign, pointedly calling out President Trump's response to Charlottesville.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He said there were, quote, some very fine people on both sides. Very fine people on both sides? With those words, the President of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.


CABRERA: President Trump made those remarks almost two years ago. Here's how he responded last night to the synagogue shooting in Poway, California.


the victims of the horrific synagogue shooting in Poway, California. Just happened. Our entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded, and stands in solidarity with the Jewish community.

We forcefully condemn the evil of anti-Semitism and hate, which must be defeated. Just happened. Must be defeated.


CABRERA: Symone Sanders is joining us now. She's a senior adviser on the Joe Biden campaign.

And, Symone, Joe Biden deliberately chose Charlottesville, and he called out the President by name. It's a different approach than we've heard from other candidates. Does he see President Trump's response to the rise of White nationalism as his biggest weakness?

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, thanks for having me tonight, Ana. And, first, I want to say, our condolences and our prayers are absolutely with the people of -- in Poway, the synagogue, and especially the family -- the families of all those in attendance. It was just such a terrible thing that happened.

And I will say in this clip was the first time I think that I have heard President Trump forcefully call out anti-Semitism and hate in America. I will say this, Vice President Biden absolutely believes that we are in a fight for the soul of this nation.

And it's not just President Trump's comments after Charlottesville, you know. He talked about this and will continue to talk about this on the campaign trail that the idea of America is at stake, right?

And so America is a place where there is supposed to be no safe harbor for hate, a place where we are welcoming, where we are for everyone, where the dignity of work is respected and admired, where you can literally be anything you want to be. And I think the Trump presidency and everything that has been happening under the Trump administration is in direct contrast to that.

And so that is why you saw the Vice President come out talking about the soul of America. And on Monday, when he is in Pittsburgh, you will hear him talk about the backbone of America. So there is a theme that he's going to continue to talk about on the campaign trail and to earn the votes of the American people.

CABRERA: Does Biden risk looking presumptuous in taking on President Trump first? After all, he still has to defeat 19 other Democrats at last count.

SANDERS: Look, the Vice President knows that he is in a Democratic primary and he is out there to earn the votes of folks all across this country, but we cannot pretend as though Donald Trump is not a threat to our current way of life.

We cannot pretend as though what is happening has been acceptable. We cannot pretend as though hate has not been normalized. And I think what the Vice President's launch video did was call that out by name, and I'm frankly proud that he did that.

CABRERA: One might argue Biden's Achilles' heel is Anita Hill. We learned, the day he launched his campaign, that he had called her recently. And she told "The New York Times" that the call left her deeply unsatisfied. Here's how Biden defended himself on "The View."


BIDEN: I am sorry she was treated the way she was treated. I wish we could've figured out a better way to get this thing done.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": No, I think what she wants you to say is I'm sorry for the way I treated you, not for the way you were treated.

BIDEN: Well --

BEHAR: I think that would be closer.

BIDEN: Well -- but -- but I'm sorry the way she got treated. In terms of -- I never heard say -- if you go back and look at what I said and didn't say, I don't think I treated her badly. There are a lot of mistakes made across the board, and for those, I apologize.


CABRERA: Symone, was that the right answer?

SANDERS: Look, I think -- look, the Vice President called Dr. Hill because he wanted to apologize to her, and I believe that their conversation was genuine, that he was sincere. And I know folks want him to get into the particulars of that conversation, but I think that's a private conversation that he is going to keep the particulars private about.

[18:34:57] Look, Dr. Hill was subject to very vicious questioning from a number of people on the Senate Judiciary Committee way back then. I think I was three when the hearings were happening, Ana, but, you know, I'm a student of history so I read. The vicious questioning, though, did not come from then-Senator Biden -- Vice President Biden -- then-Senator Biden at the time.

What I will say is something else that he said on "The View." And, you know, frankly, look, I think he sat there and took some very tough questions on "The View" for about 45 minutes. I think that's a very stark contrast from who currently sits in the White House. And I don't think that President Trump would sit for tough questions for five minutes, let alone 45 minutes.

But something else that the Vice President said that I think was so striking is that we have not figured out how to get it right all the way. And he said, what is the right way to do it? How do we fix the way we conduct hearings on Capitol Hill? What Vice President Biden did do in the aftermath -- then-Senator

Biden in the aftermath of that hearing was go out and viciously campaign so that there are women on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He went out and he fought for the violence -- for the passing of the Violence Against Women Act.

And so I think we need to look at his entire record during that time. Is Anita Hill and the questioning of Dr. Hill something that's going to continue to come up on the campaign trail? I think so.

CABRERA: But I wonder if --

SANDERS: But I am confident that the Vice President knows well --

CABRERA: I wonder if he --

SANDERS: -- he'll have to continue answering questions.

CABRERA: -- could nip it in the bud and be able to move past it if he were just to say, unequivocally, I'm sorry.

SANDERS: Let me -- let me just say something. Let me say something because, you know, I also -- I'm looking at this not just as a strategist but also as a Black woman, Ana. And I think that the American people -- that America wants Dr. Hill to accept Vice President Biden's apology. They want him to be able to say something that says, OK, now, and Dr. Anita Hill can accept his apology.

But what we're not looking at is that Dr. Hill has every right and prerogative not to accept his apology. And so I believe that as the Vice President has said, his conversation was sincere. His conversation was genuine. He did call and apologize to her, but she is within her absolute right to take it how she wants to take it. She can act whatever way she would like.

And so instead of us hoping and wishing that there's something Vice President Biden can say to make Dr. Hill feel a different way, why don't we just take it at face value and say that, look, Vice President Biden has said his piece, Dr. Hill has said hers? He's also said that he's willing to say and do more if there's anything else that she needs. They've had a very genuine conversation.

Again, he's going to continue to answer questions about this, but I think that the American people need to let Dr. Hill move on.

CABRERA: All right. Symone Sanders, good to have you with us. Thank you very much for taking the time.

SANDERS: Thank you so much.

CABRERA: Attorney General William Barr is expected to appear in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, but there's a question now about whether that's still going to happen. Details next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [18:41:09] CABRERA: A major, eagerly awaited testimony that's

scheduled for this week almost went up in smoke, and it's still not entirely clear if it will go forward. Justice Department officials are now saying that Attorney General William Barr will return to Capitol Hill and testify about the Mueller report, but sources have been telling CNN that the A.G. has warned Democrats that he will not show up if they don't stick to the questioning format that he has proposed.

Now, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the very committee that Barr is expected to face, is showing no signs of blinking first when he spoke to CNN this morning.


REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY: And the witness is not going to tell the committee how to conduct its hearing, period.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does it say if A.G. Barr doesn't back down on the suggestions?

NADLER: Then we will have to subpoena him, and we'll have to use whatever means we can to enforce his subpoena.


CABRERA: So where do we go from here? Former federal prosecutor and former assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia Gene Rossi is joining us now.

Gene, who holds the upper hand at this point?

GENE ROSSI, FORMER ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA: Well, all I can say is the Attorney General needs to realize this, that the tail does not wag the dog. The upper hand lands and is with Congress.

And I remember back in the Watergate days, Sam Ervin basically said, if a witness doesn't respond to requests to testify, I will have them handcuffed. Now, will the Attorney General be handcuffed? Of course not.

But the Attorney General of the United States is in deep hot water for several reasons. One, his letter, his press conference, statements that he's made about spying, he's losing credibility with the American people.

And Rod Rosenstein, who allegedly made the "land the plane" comment and had allegedly tears in his eyes, the Department of Justice hierarchy, the fourth and fifth floor of that building, looks like it's timid. It looks like it's afraid.

And I'm not being facetious, Ana. The Attorney General looks and acts like the cowardly lion in "The Wizard of Oz." They said they were going to be transparent and respond to all questions, and now they're trying to dictate who asks questions and what questions are going to be given. That's not how it works.

CABRERA: Gene, over or under, will Barr show up this week? What's your prediction?

ROSSI: I think he'll show up. Maybe not this week. There may be some negotiation, but he will testify. If he doesn't testify, Ana, you will have a crisis of constitutional proportions we have not seen since the 1970s.

He will testify, but it may be -- it may not be this week. It could be next week. There's going to be a lot of tough negotiation about what's he going to be asked and who's going to ask the questions.

CABRERA: Gene Rossi, I wish we had more time.

ROSSI: I do, too.

CABRERA: Thank you so much. We'll have you back.

ROSSI: Thank you.

CABRERA: Thank you. Back in a moment.


CABRERA: Time to see what's expected to move financial markets this week. Alison Kosik is here with this week's "Before the Bell." Alison?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Investors are hoping the U.S. and China move closer to a trade deal this week. Trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin traveled to Beijing for negotiations on Tuesday.

In the meantime, corporate earnings will dominate Wall Street's attention. Google parent Alphabet, Apple, McDonald's, G.M., and Pfizer are among the companies reporting quarterly results.

The Federal Reserve also meets this week on interest rates. The Fed's current approach to monetary policy has helped drive stocks to fresh all-time highs. The Central Bank has signaled it's done hiking interest rates this year, so Wall Street will be listening for clues about where rates are headed next. And that largely depends on the health of the U.S. economy.

On Friday, the Labor Department will release the April jobs report. Remember, in March, hiring rebounded. The U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs and unemployment held steady at 3.8 percent. Investors want to see if that pace continued or whether hiring is beginning to slow.

In New York, I'm Alison Kosik.


CABRERA: What happens when a crime victim and the person who committed that crime, people you think would never come together, do just that? Tonight, you'll get to see for yourself. It's the beginning of a powerful, new CNN Original Series called THE REDEMPTION PROJECT.


MARIAH LUCAS, DAUGHTER OF SHARLENE HEINEMAN: Jason Wayne Clark. Your name has been on my mind for the last 20 or so years. I've thought about you nearly every week of my life, and I have many questions for you. I finally decided to reach out. I've had hopes you would be willing to meet me. My name is Mariah Lucas, the daughter of Sharlene Heineman, the woman you killed.

JASON WAYNE CLARK, KILLED SHARLENE HEINEMAN: After the first paragraph, I had to put it down. It was a like slug to the chest, I had to put it down. And I couldn't believe what I was holding in my hand. Twenty-three years of no contact from anybody.

LUCAS: I realized that my contacting you may come as a surprise. I want to tell you a little about myself and the life that I have lived.

CLARK: She told me about her life and the things that she had been through. It's what we call the cycle of violence. I went through a cycle of violence, and my actions started another cycle of violence that she had to live through. And she was the one that broke the cycle of violence.

LUCAS: I would like to ask that you would allow me to come visit you.

CLARK: At the end of that letter, she had told me to forgive myself. And that hit me harder than anything else. It was -- it was unreal.


CABRERA: Earlier, I spoke to the host of "THE REDEMPTION PROJECT," Van Jones, about his new series.


CABRERA: Van, for people who don't know, what is restorative justice?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, as you can see, it's this idea that people don't actually heal just because they got a verdict. You know, just because the judge says guilty and somebody goes away in handcuffs, people think, oh, well, now that victim of crime should feel great.

Often -- and that's kind of the true crime thing, right? This is not a true crime series. It's not a "Whodunnit?" series. We already know who did it. This is about the truth long after the crime.

This is about the truth that people still haven't healed. They still don't know what happened. They need some sense of information they can only get from the person who actually committed the crime, and yet they're separated from that person by law, from -- you know, by a prison wall. So we decided, what if we put those people together and filmed them

talking? So we found eight people who have done very bad things who want to make amends, who want to ask for forgiveness, who want to atone, and then we found the people that they had hurt or the surviving family members.

And we put them in the same room, and we just filmed them talking to each other. And it's extraordinary. And the --

CABRERA: You said it changed your life.

JONES: Oh, it changed my life. I mean, for -- because we're in a culture now that's all -- there's no empathy. There's no listening, there's no forgiveness, there's no compassion, there's no mercy. You voted for the wrong person in 2016, I'm going to block you on Facebook even though I've known you my whole life.

[18:55:04] It's all cancel culture, call-out culture. This show goes 180 degrees in the other direction and says what happens if we actually try to listen.


JONES: Even when it's hard. And it's an extraordinary series.

CABRERA: In that clip we just played, we heard a little bit of Mariah's story.


CABRERA: Her mother was killed when she was a toddler. Tell us a little bit more about her story and why she decided to meet with her mother's killer.

JONES: Yes. You know, it's -- people want to know what happened. I mean, the thing is, you are in a -- if you're a survivor of a serious crime or surviving family member, you're in your own prison of just not knowing.

And, hey, why did the person do this? Do they even care? Are they a monster? Are they sorry? Was there confession forced? There are so many questions that victims in our court process never get to ask because it's such, you know, a court-driven, lawyer-driven procedure.

And so she just wanted to get some answers. And in this series, we have eight. In two of the eight, it does not end in a warm and fuzzy place, I'll put it that way. But in three of them, there are some miraculous breakthroughs where people actually get to the point where they say, you know what, I'm going to try to help get this person out prison.

So you literally have every single kind of response. I just think that it challenged me as a human being. I think about the grudges I hold. I'm still mad at people from third grade, you know, playground beefs and stuff like that, and people are dealing with much harder issues and trying to deal with it in a much more beautiful way. It's a -- this whole series, it's a heartbreak to hope series. People

say, oh, well, that seems too heavy for me. Trust me, everybody that's seen this series has come away feeling uplifted, inspired, moved, and reminded that we're human beings.

We've all done stuff we regret. We've all had stuff done to us that's hard to get past. This is a -- the stakes are higher in this situation, but it's a very human series.

CABRERA: And not everyone, though, has a family member or a personal story that they can relate to in this same way.

JONES: Right. Right, right.

CABRERA: Not everybody has been a victim of a crime, right?

JONES: Right. Right.

CABRERA: But you say that every person --

JONES: But everybody --

CABRERA: -- who watches this will be able to feel connected?

JONES: Because everybody has done something that they wish they hadn't done and doesn't know how to apologize for and wishes that they could.


JONES: And everybody's had something bad happen to them that they can't get past easily. And so even though, again, the stakes are higher because of, you know, what -- the issues that we're dealing with, it's a -- there's nothing more human than trying to say I'm sorry for something that's almost impossible to get forgiveness for.

And there's nothing more human than sitting down and listening to somebody, even with your arms crossed, even if when you stand up you still are mad, trying to get a better understanding of what happened and why.

CABRERA: You're doing your part to make a difference. Thanks, Van Jones.

JONES: Thank you.

CABRERA: Looking forward to the first episode. The all-new CNN Original Series, "THE REDEMPTION PROJECT WITH VAN JONES" premieres tonight at 9:00 pm right here on CNN.